This computer wasn't just going to be a stylish football table - it also had to be a pretty good HTPC. So, I priced out the best system for the job at the time to provide the right balance of power for the task at hand.
The system would look a bit like this:
- Mainboard: Asus nForce Socket AM2
- CPU: AMD Athlon64 X2 4200+
- RAM: Corsair 1024MB XMS2 PC6400
- GFX: Asus GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB
- DVD: LG DVD burner
- HDD: Western Digital 250GB
- PSU: Xilence 420W
- SND: Creative X-Fi Xtreme Gamer
This was backed up by a Logitech mouse and keyboard, Creative Gigaworks T20 speakers
and a Creative Livecam. Finally, all of this would be wrapped in the cold aluminium of a 3R systems HTPC Chassis (specifically the HT1100) with LCD display and remote control. It wouldn't win the gaming olympics, but it will be an admirable media player.
Time to get painting
I wanted the sides of the case to look like a football - but not just like a typical paint job. Instead, I wanted them to have the appearance of real leather. I toyed with the idea of cutting a ball, similar to Macroman's Foxconn mod
, but it would take a lot of balls to cover the sides of this case and it would be left with a shiny appearance. Instead, I wanted this to look worn out a bit, like a well-loved ball. Thankfully, a company called Lunitec makes a fake leather paint that serves just this purpose.
The leather paint goes on with help from a stencil - white, white, black, white, white black...
To apply the paint, I loaded up my airbrush kit and cut myself a stencil of a football's famous pattern. Then on went the black paint, followed by a coat of white paint on the proper segments. Not a lot of airbrush patience was required here, as the texture creates a natural tapering and fade at the edges. Still, that didn't mean I could be lazy with my work!
The finished panels definitely have the look I wanted.
When the paint job was finished, I was quite happy with the result. Each panel had that "kicked around" feel of a vintage ball. Further, the style made the white paint less jarring and easier on the eyes.
Once assembled, the result was better than I'd hoped.
The case looked even better when the panels were put back onto the chassis. A little bit of a rub to get off the stray texture, and the basic case was ready to roll. Who said footballs had to be round?